How Do I Get a Study Visa for Canada?

study visa

Are you interested in studying in Canada?

There are hundreds of institutions of higher learning from which to choose. They have excellent reputations, and you have the ability to earn a degree which will be respected internationally. Read on to learn more about applying for a visa to study in Canada.

Applying to a Designated Learning Institution

The first step in the process is applying to a school. Universities and colleges must be designated by the Canadian government in order to accommodate students in Canada on visas. The Canadian government has a list of designated schools, which is updated regularly. Primary and secondary schools receive an automatic designation.

Once you’ve been accepted to the school, you can begin your application for a student visa. On the application, don’t forget to include the school’s designated learning institute number, which starts with the letter “O.”


You need to submit several documents along with the study visa application. This isn’t a complete list – the visa office in your home country might tell you there are additional requirements.

Applicants for a study visa must prove they’ve been accepted by a designated learning institution in Canada. How can they prove it? Send in the acceptance letter with the application.

You must also be able to prove that you are who you say you are. As such, you’ll need to provide a valid passport or travel document. If there are family members accompanying you, they’ll need valid passports or travel documents, too. The passport or travel document must allow you to return to the country which issued it. In addition, you’ll also have to supply two recent passport-sized photos for yourself and any accompanying family members. The photos should have the subject’s name and date of birth written on the back.

The third document you’ll need is proof of financial support. The Canadian government wants to see that you can support yourself and any dependents during your course of studies. There are a few ways in which you can prove means of financial support: proof of a Canadian bank account in your name, proof of a student loan from a financial institution, your bank statements for the past four months, a bank draft in convertible currency, proof that you’ve paid for tuition and accommodation, a letter from the person or institution providing you with funding, or proof of funding from within Canada if you have a scholarship or are in a program funded by Canada.

Other Application Requirements

Aside from documentation, the Canadian government has other conditions which applicants for student visas must meet.

You cannot have a criminal record if you’re applying for a student visa. Applicants may be asked to furnish a certificate from their local or national police stating that they are law-abiding and not a security risk.

Being in good health is another prerequisite for applying for a Canadian student visa. You might have to undergo a medical exam to prove your state of health.

A third requirement is that you must prove that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay. A student visa is not equivalent to an immigration visa – it does not allow you to remain in Canada indefinitely.

The Application Process

Once you have all of the documents you need, you can begin the application process for a Canadian study visa.

You can apply online or you can download and print a paper application, then mail it to your local visa processing office. Bear in mind the amount of time it takes to process your application will depend on how busy the local visa office is. It can take as few as three weeks or as many as 41 (which is over ten months).

 What Happens After You Submit Your Application?

After your application has been processed, you will receive notification from your local visa office whether your request for a study visa has been accepted or denied.

If it has been accepted, you will receive a letter of confirmation. That letter isn’t the same as the visa, but you should bring it with you when you arrive in Canada to show immigration officials. You’ll either receive an electronic Travel Authorization (which is linked to your passport) or a visitor visa (which is a physical visa and is attached to your passport). The type of visa you receive depends on which country you’re from.

Should the visa office refuse your application, you’ll receive a letter explaining the reasons for the refusal. If you have questions about why your application was denied, contact the local visa office for more information.

VisaPlace: Your Canadian Visa Law Experts

Are you interested in studying in Canada? Contact VisaPlace today.

Our lawyers and their staff are experienced independent practitioners affiliated with registered law firms. They have been carefully selected by VisaPlace to help you based on their experience and client service approach in Canadian and U.S. immigration law.

Click here to book a 1 on 1 consultation, or call us at 1-888-317-5770.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

  • Sam

    Hi its sam . I am from New Zealand. I want to come to canada. Can you plz suggest sonething.

    • Muga Rajbhandari

      Hi Sam. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you after they have had the time to get all of your personal information and understand your situation. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at
      Regards, Muga

  • Kc

    Hii m from india plz suggest me as i hv done (biology)nd b.ed in 2012,2010 now m teaching in a school since m planning to go for further study in canada in pg diploma biotechnology.i got it good to apply in pg diploma nd i will get visa or not any other suggestion plz tell me

    • Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello. The first step is to get accepted into a program from an accredited Canadian university. Once you have that, we will be able to help you with the complicated task of obtaining the study visa that you will need.
      Regards, Vahe

  • Rukhsar haider

    Hi it’s Syed Rukhsar at the moment I m studying in Australia and I want to move to Canada and I m doing diploma of automotive so what should be the best thing to apply in or can I apply for permanent residency give ur suggestion

    • Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello Rukhsar. There are many factors that go into determining the best option for your particular situation. In order to give you a proper evaluation I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to gather all of your information, and plan the best strategy for you. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at
      Regards, Vahe

  • Dawnette Reynolds

    Hello,I’m Dawnette ,when accepted and received student visa,when can I apply for permanent residence ?
    My baby was born in Canada and have ongoing appointments and therapy, my schooling in Canada is the best time for me and my baby’s the same time
    So can I apply for my PR maybe after 2 yrs ??so,also I’ll be working on 20 hours each wk,

    • Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello Dawnette. Thank you for writing to us. In order for us to determine when you can apply for your Permanent Residency we will need to know a lot more about your current situation and that of your child. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to gather all the information and plan the best strategy for you. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at
      Regards, Vahe

  • Riaz Hussain

    Hi I want to come for study tell me the requirements details please to how I come
    I waiting your email.
    Best regards

    • Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello Raiz. The most important first step is to get an acceptance to an accredited Canadian educational institution that has the program that you are looking for. Once you have the acceptance, contact us so that we can help you obtain the study visa that you will need.
      Regards, Vahe

  • Abdul

    I have a nephew in India who has done his diploma in civil eng but has some arrears left. Is there any chance to call him here on student visa for further education. He has done grade 10 and then three years of diploma please advise

    • Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello Abdul. The first step that you must take is to apply to an accredited Canadian learning institution and receive an acceptance into a program. Once you have the acceptance, we can help you obtain the study visa that your nephew will need.
      Regards, Vahe

  • Khumoyun

    I am from Uzbekistan. I have rejected once this year from US embassy but i am not going to tell about that situation to Canadian Consulation. Is it possible to appy study permit to Canada ?

    Thanks in advance,


    • Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello. If you have an acceptance letter from an accredited Canadian learning institution, you may may apply for a study visa. A study visa is one of the most difficult to obtain because the reviewing officer needs to make 100% certain that you will return home after your studies are completed. If you are asked about any previous immigration rejections, you must always be truthful with your answers.
      Regards, Vahe

  • Samuel Branson

    I have a three years on going canada visitor’s visa due to expire 2017, I just visited canada and returned back, at the moment I have two admission in two school in canada one for 1yr and the other for 2yrs as such got to know which one should apply for and what happen to my existing visa if I am considered for the study permit?……..and if not?

    • Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello Samuel. As soon as you decide on which program you want to accept, you will need to obtain a study visa for that specific program. You cannot pursue studies on a visitor visa.
      Regards, Vahe

  • Akshay Nyamala

    Hi my name is Akshay and I’m from India I had applied for study permits in USA before where I got rejected for 2 times now can I apply for Canada… the 2 time rejection of USA matter for Canada visa??

    • Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello Akshay. Study Visas are one of the most difficult to acquire because the immigration officer that reviews your case needs to be 100% certain that you will return home after your studies are completed. It appears that you were not successful in making that clear in your prior applications. To answer your question, everything that you do in immigration effects everything that you want to do in the future. I do not suggest that you attempt to apply for a Canadian Study Visa on your own. Your application will need to address all the shortcomings of your previous denials; this will take the knowledge and experience of a legal immigration team. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who can assess your situation and advise on the best strategy to take. To make the appointment you can call us at 1-855-886-8472 or book the appointment online at
      Regards, Vahe

  • sadia raheem

    Hi its sadia here i want to know if my credit hours could b shifted from here to canada ..
    Or if it is possible to take a restart of my graduate studies in canada …
    Please let me know if there is any chance ..
    Right now m a medical student in pakistan
    And i am having my 2 year of medical ..
    I ll be thankful if yu let me know about it …

    • Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello Sadia. Your questions are best directed to the school in Canada that you wish to continue your studies with.
      Best regards, Vahe

  • Sajid Abbas

    Hello sir,
    My name is Sajid Abbas.I am from Pakistan.I am 29 years old.I am graduated in commerce in 2009.In 2010 I went to UK for higher education and passed Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management in 2015.but from 2010 to 2014 I did nothing except work and passed PGD(Business Management) in 2015.
    My question is any gap acceptable in Canada university or colleges if yes then for long I mean 1 year 2 years or more.
    Is ielts compulsory for getting student visa.
    Can I apply visa on English proficiency letter?
    One more thing if anyone deported from UK can apply for Canada?
    Does Canada immigration check travel history of applicant because I am not sure Canada will accept any deported or removal students.

    • Vahe Mirzoyan

      Thank you for writing to us Sajid. Each university has it’s own requirements for language proficiency. You will have to check with them to find out the specifics for the school that you have chosen. Your previous deportation from the UK certainly complicates your future plans to immigrate to Canada. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who can assess your situation and advise on the best strategy to take. To make the appointment you can call us at 1-855-886-8472 or book the appointment online at
      Regards, Vahe

The content and comments of this blog are not legal advise and and may not be accurate or complete. If you require legal advice, contact a licensed legal practitioner directly. If you post on this blog, you assume full responsibility for disclosing your identity to the public and VisaPlace nor its affiliates are not responsible for protecting your privacy nor your identity concerning your participation in our blog and you assume any risks in participating.

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